Reclusive Harrogate art legend comes out of shadows

Harrogate artist John Middleton. (Picture by Sarah Whitelock)
Harrogate artist John Middleton. (Picture by Sarah Whitelock)

A recluse and a legend, one of Harrogate’s most important artists is coming out of the shadows for his final ever exhibition this weekend..

Despite being voluntarily ‘under the radar’ for nearly 40 years. painter John Middleton’s reputation has survived the passage of time, his flame burning quietly but strongly.

A section of Egon Study II (Homage To Egon Schiele) by Harrogate artist John Middleton.

A section of Egon Study II (Homage To Egon Schiele) by Harrogate artist John Middleton.


Paint, to be held at RedHouse Originals gallery on Cheltenham Mount in Harrogate will be the final chapter in a story which began when John’s paintings rose to prominence in the late 1960s in an exhibition at London’s Nicholas Treadwell Gallery.


Having tasted fame, John decided it wasn’t for him.
In 1982 he decided to remove himself from the world of contemporary art, to be a painter free of the ‘tangled mess’ of life, politics and religion.
Since that day he has held no commercial ambitions.


Born in Sheffield in 1940 and now in his 70s and living and working in Harrogate, John’s new exhibition, to run from October 19 to November 17, is John’s first real statement for a very long time.


For fans of his work it’s an opportunity, the last opportunity, to see his talents in the flesh.
For John, brother of well-known Harrogate musician Paul Middleton, it’s a chance to embrace the outside world before stepping back into his studio and closing the shutters for good.


The new exhibition reveals how much his work has drawn on multiple experiences from a life spent as a citizen of the world.
Influences from the periods spent living in Holland and Portugal, as well as his journeys to Latin America, illuminate his paintings but his native Yorkshire and the pragmatism it has imbued him with runs through his art


John Middleton ‘Paint’ runs at RedHouse Originals Gallery, 15 Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate from Friday, October 19 until Saturday, November 17.

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